Mobile Banking Apps: Easier Money Management

mobile phones and apps make online payments for credit cards, home loans, and necessities easy

With the touch of a button, your smartphone or tablet transforms into anything from a photo album or TV to a music player or health monitor. We live in a busy, online world and you have the universe at your fingertips — you just have to know how to use that knowledge to your advantage.

Mobile banking has been transforming the way we handle our finances since Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007. But how can mobile banking apps help you, and how can you ensure your information is safe?

Lancaster Red Rose is On The Go

The LRRCU banking app (Apple and Android) allows any LRRCU member, who is currently signed up for online banking services, to enjoy the convenience of accessing their finances wherever they are! Once you download the banking app to your mobile device, you’ll be able to effortlessly:

  • View balances, transaction history, upcoming bills, and spending insights for all accounts in one place
  • Identify paid bills within your list of transactions
  • Pay bills using the integrated bill pay feature
  • Set reminders when upcoming bills are due
  • Deposit checks
  • Redistribute money between accounts with account-to-account transfer
  • Create alerts to notify you of low account funds
  • Add custom tags, notes, or photos of a receipt or check to any transaction, helping you stay organized
  • Locate all ATMs and credit union branches
  • Contact LRRCU customer service directly

Check out Safe Online Banking: For You & Your Money for safe online banking tips. The tips will help you ensure your accounts and confidential information are thoroughly protected to prevent theft.

What is Remote Deposit Capture?

Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) is the technology that allows checks to be digitally scanned and used for processing check deposits. RDC is commonly seen at ATMs that allow you to deposit a check directly at the machine. Upon inserting the check, the ATM scans the front and back of the check, the images are electronically submitted for the check to clear, and the funds are added to your account.

One of the newer forms of RDC services is mobile deposit. This service allows you to digitally deposit checks from any location using the convenience of your smartphone. You simply open your mobile banking app and go through a quick set of steps that allow you to use your phone’s camera to take a picture of both sides of a check. Once you confirm additional details such as the amount of the deposit, the information and images of the check are securely sent for processing and approval. In most cases, the deposit amount is available to you instantly.

Are Mobile Deposits Safe?

Mobile deposits follow the same clearing and processing as a check deposited in person at a branch or through ATMs. The difference is that mobile deposits permit you to retain the original check. A good rule of thumb is to retain each original check for seven to nine days after you successfully submit a mobile deposit. This provides enough time to verify that the funds have fully processed. Should an issue arise after a deposit is submitted, you’ll still have the physical check in case you are required to submit it again or provide it to the bank as evidence of your original deposit.

Once you verify that your deposit has been successfully added to your account, be sure to properly dispose of the check. Shred or tear the check up prior to throwing it away to ensure your personal information cannot be obtained.

How Financial Apps Can Help

Are you looking for more ways to integrate saving and spending plans to ensure overall financial well-being? LRRCU offers financial planning services, as well as budget and credit counseling to all members. However, if you’re searching for a easy way to keep track of money and spending habits on a day-to-day basis, personal finance apps are a quick and simple solution. Here are five free, useful apps we recommend for effective finance tracking:

Mint

Mint allows you to aggregate all your banking accounts, loans, and credit cards into one convenient place. Once you have all your accounts set up, Mint analyzes your spending habits and provides personalized tips for money management. It also allows you to set budget amounts and create alerts that notify you if you’ve hit a budget limit. Download for Apple or Android.

PocketGuard

PocketGuard allows you to connect all your financial accounts, too. The app provides financial insights at a glance so you know exactly how much money is available to you for spending at any given time. PocketGuard also tracks your monthly charges and recurring bills to help you find the lowest prices on necessities like cable and cell phone services. Download for Apple or Android.

Wally

This app provides a platform so you can bring your financial life together in one place. The app allows you to glance over all transactions while on the go and manage payments with ease. While the initial program is free, Wally also offers optional add-ons with small subscription fees that allow you to share financial accounts with other trusted individuals, manage foreign accounts, convert currency, and have advanced control over exporting, filtering, budgeting, and financial categorization. Download for Apple or Android.

Honeyfi

Honeyfi allows couples to easily manage money together in one convenient app. Honeyfi combines bank, credit card, loan, and investment accounts from each individual and offers a way for you to choose what you share with your partner. The app analyzes your previous spending habits and suggests a household budget that can be easily edited and tracked. You can also add comments and reactions to transactions to stay in sync with your partner. Download for Apple or Android.

Digit

Digit takes care of saving your money so you don’t have to! The app checks your spending habits and transfers money from your checking account to your Digit savings account, allowing you to keep an extra stash of money for emergencies, special events, or vacations. You can withdraw money from your Digit savings account whenever you need to without any hidden fees and account minimums. Plus, you’ll earn 1% annually on the funds in your Digit savings account, allowing you to make even more money on your savings. The app is free for the first 100 days and then requires a small subscription fee thereafter, but you can cancel at any time. Download for Apple or Android.

stolen phones are often hacked and your bank and personal account information can be used

How to Protect Your Finances On Your Smartphone

According to Consumer Reports, 62% of smartphone owners don’t have a passcode set to protect their phone and 32% have automatic sign-in enabled for their financial applications. On top of that, it was reported that 2.1 million Americans had a smartphone stolen and 3.1 million lost their smartphone within a single year. Don’t leave your information vulnerable! Take the following steps ahead of time to protect your money and personal data.

1. Password Protect Your Phone

You should always set your phone or mobile device to lock when it’s not in use, and utilize a secure passcode or password for access to your phone. Some smartphones now let you take security even further by requiring a thumbprint or face scan to unlock your phone.

2. Always Log Out of Apps

Keeping yourself permanently logged into programs that show banking and personal accounts may allow thieves to easily access your most valuable information. Always remember to log yourself out of a website or app before closing it.

3. Activate “Find my Phone”

Turn on this feature to quickly trace your phone’s location if it turns up missing. Some operating systems also offer a “Lost Mode” that allows you to send a message to a device’s home screen asking anyone in possession of the phone to call to you at a specified number.

What Do I Do If My Phone Is Lost or Stolen?

  1. Contact your financial institution to let them know your phone or device is missing and someone may have access to your accounts through any mobile apps.
  2. Change the passwords to any accounts that can be accessed on your phone. You’ll want to reset your email password as well. If a thief has access to the email app on your phone, they can use the “Forgot My Password” feature on apps and websites to obtain a log-in.
  3. Report your lost or stolen phone to your cell phone provider.
  4. If your phone was stolen, contact your local police station to report it the theft.
  5. Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.

Have additional questions and concerns about protecting your accounts when using our LRRCU online banking site or mobile app? Contact a local LRRCU representative or submit your questions online.

Liz Oliver
Liz Oliver

Liz Oliver is the Member & Loan Services Officer at Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union. She’s been a member of the LRRCU team since 2007.

Bear